WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Kit Bond (R-MO) and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), Chairman of the Republican Policy Committee, and both of them members of the Appropriations Committee, today condemned the Democratic decision to block a vote on opening offshore oil reserves by canceling Senate Appropriations Committee consideration of such legislation. Sens. Hutchison and Bond announced last week their intention to repeal the current offshore production moratorium.
“Democrats must recognize that using our resources to increase supply cannot be taken off the table,” said Sen. Hutchison.
“The American people are struggling with a gas price crisis and Democrats are blocking our attempts to get gas prices down with new oil supplies,” said Bond.
There are at least 18 billion barrels of oil, equivalent to 10 years of oil supplies and more than enough to lower gas prices significantly, waiting to be tapped in the waters of America’s Atlantic and Pacific coasts. However, for many years now Congress has included a moratorium on new oil and gas leases on the annual Interior Appropriations spending bill.
The Thursday markup of this year’s Interior Appropriations bill would have given lawmakers a chance to open up those supplies for the American people. That opportunity is now blocked by the Democratic leadership who don’t want to allow votes.
With gas prices at record levels, the time has come to end punitive policies that hurt American families, farmers, truckers and small businesses. We must get serious about lowering gas prices. The American people deserve the relief we can provide them by opening up new supplies of oil. Hopefully, the Democrats will not continue to block similar amendments on the Senate floor.